Doughnuts first made their debut back in the early 1800’s and its believed that they were brought to the USA by Dutch settlers who named them oly-koeks (oily cakes).
They were originally made from a sweetened dough of flour, butter, sugar, eggs and milk and were then fried in hog fat. They didn’t have the hole in the middle then, but were shaped into balls.
It wasn’t until 1847 that an American called Hanson Gregory claimed to have created the doughnut as we know it today – usually ring shaped with a hole in the centre. Gregory was unhappy with the doughy bit in the middle so stamped a hole with a tin pepper pot.
And where else but the great US of A would you find National Doughnut Day? The first Friday of every June, since its inception by the Salvation Army back in 1938, National Doughnut Day has been celebrated across America to honour the memory of their members who served doughnuts to the soldiers in the First World War.
Today in America doughnuts are mostly associated with the pink box phenomenon. This was attributed to a Cambodian refugee who, through his business acumen, transformed the local doughnut shop industry, and trained many other Cambodian refugees. Several doughnut franchises followed, hence the current booming US doughnut trade, and now the pink box has become synonymous with doughnuts throughout the USA.
Krispy Kreme doughnuts first appeared in the US back in 1937 and soon became a large business empire, spreading through the country. After the success of the Simpsons in the UK over the past 30 years and the fact that Homer Simpson’s favourite food is a Krispy Kreme doughnut, it was only a matter of time before they arrived here too.
Now in the UK you can find any type of doughnut imaginable, from ring, to apple filled, sugar and cinnamon coated, with sprinkles or nuts on, jam or custard filled, torpedo shaped with caramel or cream in or on top. The delicious and lip-smacking list goes on forever…..!